91-63: A break in the tension

Congratulations to Josh Beckett (20-6) on becoming the first 20-game winner in the Major Leagues this year! He fully deserves the national recognition that will come with that feat, in his best season ever. Beckett allowed just one run on four hits over six innings, striking out eight Devil Rays. He has been so, so consistent this season, and been a rock in that rotation, even when everything else has looked shaky. This all but assures his status as the AL Cy Young frontrunner.

It was nice to see the Boston bullpen back to normal, with Manny Delcarmen, Javier Lopez and Eric Gagne combining for three scoreless innings of work, even if it was against Tampa Bay. Delcarmen and Gagne fanned two batters each, so the Rays weren’t doing much at the plate. So much for trying out Gagne in pressure situations, though; this game was 8-1 in favor of the good guys by the time he got in.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia continue to give pitchers headaches early in the order, and a little something extra to think about on the basepaths (just ask Dioner Navarro). David Ortiz smacked a tie-breaking RBI single in the 3rd, and followed up with a three-run HR in the 9th, an encouraging sign for our impotent offense.

On this same night, the Yankees would drop a close one to the Blue Jays after 14 innings, returning the lead to 2 1/2 games. What a sweet night.


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